Roof damage, Triliium #136 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-09-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
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Roof damage, Triliium #136

I just brought my first Trillium home on Friday (Oct. 7). It is also close to being one of the first Trilliums, registration number 136.

Needless to say there are many issues with this trailer. Not really abused, just not really looked after.

When I looked down onto the roof this morning, I noticed the pattern on the roof.

The second shot is a closer look.

The third shot is what I found when I got some of the "roof coating" removed.

The fourth shot is my repair.

And this is only the beginning!!!


Ok, just kidding about the repair. It only has to last overnight, in case it rains!! Of course, living on the WestCoast, it will rain.
Attached Thumbnails
Roof, crack.jpg   Roof, crack, up close.jpg  

Roof, crack, first opening.jpg   Roof, crack, first repair.jpg  

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:56 AM   #2
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Red Green would love it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:48 AM   #3
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You know that you only need two repair tools: duct tape and WD-40. Looks like you used the right one.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:55 AM   #4
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I would have used the "red" tape, but, couldn't find it in the shop!!

Just as an interesting note, there is quite a good size fracture right at that point. The 'glass is completely punctured. Yet, there is no damage, at all, to the ensolite inside. I would guess that something hit the roof pretty hard at that point.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:00 AM   #5
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Another quick question.

The stuff on the roof seems to be some kind of rubber based paint/bed liner.

Any tips for getting this stuff off?

I have tried lacquer thinner, acetone, heating with a torch, scraping, sanding, grinding. None of which are enjoying resounding success!!!
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:20 AM   #6
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If it were me I would just place a piece of eternabond tape over it. It's good stuff and will seal good if you clean the surface good first.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicklebok View Post
If it were me I would just place a piece of eternabond tape over it. It's good stuff and will seal good if you clean the surface good first.
Thanks bicklebok.

I used eternabond to seal up my old camper. That stuff is sticky! I had used the paintable type so I was able to paint the roof, after I did the seams.

On the trailer I would like to paint. The paint/colour scheme was probably great for the guy that did it, but, for me it has to be changed. It seems like it will just be a lot of work.

I was going to remove it all. The P.O. had painted the roof and lower portion with the rubber stuff. I may just leave the lower portion as is.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Min View Post
Another quick question.
The stuff on the roof seems to be some kind of rubber based paint/bed liner.
Any tips for getting this stuff off?
I have tried lacquer thinner, acetone, heating with a torch, scraping, sanding, grinding. None of which are enjoying resounding success!!!
Have you tried a specialized paint stipper such as products of the dominon sure seal ?

Otherwise, you may have some sort of epoxy/urethane based / two part product such as products of the dominon sure seal or products of the dominon sure seal. The latter is told to be "very rugged product withstands abrasion, gasoline, acids and has a very high tear strength", matching your description very closely.

Problem is, with the paint stripper, you may also dissolve the roof fiberglass shell which is basically bound together with polyester resin. "If you can't beat them, join them" as we use to say... the other solution is maybe to test for bounding, repair with epoxy and roving and apply a new coat of the same material, or compatible paint to match the rest of the roof.

Only suggestions based on educated guess and your pictures.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:44 PM   #9
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one thing that i have used for paint, aircraft dope and other finishes is permatex gasket remover but not sure what it would do to the fiberglass
Removing Powder Coating Quickly and Cheaply -- Chopper Surplus
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:11 PM   #10
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Thanks Dudley and Martin.

Very good point about dissolving the polyester resin in the shell. I would think that as long as 'whatever' was rinsed off there should be limited problems?

Never would have thought of gasket remover. I checked out the website, removes powder coat. I had always thought that stuff was really tough.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Min View Post
Another quick question.

The stuff on the roof seems to be some kind of rubber based paint/bed liner.

Any tips for getting this stuff off?

I have tried lacquer thinner, acetone, heating with a torch, scraping, sanding, grinding. None of which are enjoying resounding success!!!
If you can't get it off. Personally I would add more... Grind around the hole. Repair the hole. Go to the spray on bedliner place and have them recoat the whole roof. Maybe a different color if you want... Just what I would do..... Seal it for life... Randy
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:02 PM   #12
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Thanks, G'Pit.

I had thought about doing that! I just wonder about a couple of things. This is definitely a "rubber" type of coating. It doesn't seem to have a really solid bond to the surface.

The trailer has been painted the somewhat scummy kind of brown. Looks like an oil base paint, has been brushed on? Then the rubber stuff has been applied, both onto the roof and along the bottom.

I would like to change the colour scheme, scummy brown and flat black are not my "colours of choice". I wonder if the black stuff would "bleed" through when painted over a different colour?
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:19 PM   #13
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I would just use a wire wheel to remove the rubberized coating. Then drind down the crack slightly and add a few layers of fibreglass over the cracks.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:14 PM   #14
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Kurt,

I tried the wire wheel method this afternoon. This is definitely a rubber type of compound. It was very resistant to coming off, then, all of a sudden would just let go!! Made it very difficult to control.

My original idea was to remove the entire coating and re-paint a nice gloss finish. Now, I am thinking that I will do the fibreglass repair, with resin/cloth/mat, then redo the rubber type stuff. Hopefully in a different colour. Somehow black does not seem like a practical roof colour.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:04 PM   #15
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Hi Gord, Just make sure the "rubber type of compound" you pick for finish is compatible with the old one. That type of compound is often not paintable, but it is often available in almond color. I applied such almond color "rock guard" like undercoating with a basic Shutz air gun Schutz Siphon Gun | Canadian Tire (also used for rustproofing grease) and I was very pleased with the results. It was even paintable if you don't like the color. Rubberized Rockerguard Undercoating, Beige | Canadian Tire This stuff is available in containers that you only need to screw under the Shultz air gun. Note that nothing will stick very long to asphalt based stuff, but if you have rubberized coating, this undercoating should work fine. Alternatively, you may check and ask for advise at a bodyshop supply store.

An air compressor can be rented at a low cost and will make the job smooth and more professional looking with only a basic prep (on smooth but not perfect surface, not stucco like). It will speed up the application a great deal too. I used this technique to apply a thin coat or rock guard on the edge of the hood and on the lower portion of the body and doors on an old car that I just repaired for rust and it really looked like new after a finishing coat of spray painted matching color enamel.

The inconvenient is the extra weight of such thick coats of material on the upper portion of your Trillium, but it will last and look great.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:47 PM   #16
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Thanks Martin,

I really think that the stuff is rubber based. I have tried lacquer thinner and acetone on it. Wouldn't an asphalt coating dissolve with these solvents? They didn't even touch it.

I would really like to get this stuff off. At least on the roof. It kind of makes sense to have something like it on the lower section.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:17 PM   #17
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Like a lot of my plans, this has gone a bit sideways.

I was just going to repair and re-coat with the rubber stuff.

As I have gone along, I've found other flaws, spider cracks, and some places where the gelcoat is clearly damaged. I have slightly less than 1/4 of the roof stripped right now. Just using paint stripper. Tried two different types, the stronger the better.

I will strip all of the bed liner off, repair the fibreglass, fill, sand, prime and paint. While I am at it, I will remove the "belly band", grind, fill, etc., etc. I like the way it looks on some of the other trailers.

Plus, while reading some of the other threads, I am beginning to wonder if the axle has failed. The swing arms seem to be in an upward position. My other trailer has the 22.5 deg. down angle arms, so this one does look odd.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:50 AM   #18
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So, I got about 1/2 the roof stripped of the bed-liner, then I had to cover it for the rain. My tarp was only big enough to cover the roof.

When I went out on Sat. am, after a decent downpour, there was water under the front benches, and running down the front wall. Couldn't tell about the back wall. Too much "stuff" piled in there.

Looks like the window seal is leaking. This is not one of the "louvered" style. It is a one piece molded plexi, with a rubber seal around. It is also cracked.

So, looks like a couple of things are needed.
- a larger tarp
-remove the window
-try to find a replacement window and seal

Oh well, I have all winter before I need to go camping anyway!!!!
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:38 PM   #19
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Hi Gord,
Let's say that very few RV of that age are worth renovating, except Fiberglass RV. By the way, have you checked to see if there is any wood core under your cracked roof or is it solid fiberglass ? The leaking window you are talking about is the front window? Such window is very much exposed when you are on the road. I don't advise you to replace it with pexiglass (acrylic). A piece of 5mm thick lexan would be much easier to cut and won't ever break on the road or ... under your cutting tools. It is easy to find in clear, but it also exists in smoked version. The problem with both (Lexan and Plexi) is that they are easy to scratch compared to tempered glass. Maybe you could think of a protective cover whenever you are on the road (something that won't rub on the surface and scratch). Creating a blind with framed transparent or translucent corrugated polycarbonate would be an option (Polycarb Roofing Panels - Vinyl Roofing Panels - Deck Drainage System - Tuftex Roofing Panels Suntuf Polycarbonate Roofing | PSP Limited Creating a frame out of aluminum and pop rivets would be quite easy. Another option is to look for a used Trillium window and blind.

In both cases (lexan or plexi), choosing the proper seal and gasket material is a challenge. There are many vendors that have been mentionned on other threads.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:23 PM   #20
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Thanks for the reply Martin.

I agree about the age. If this had not been a FG RV it would not have been worth the effort. Originally I was mainly concerned about purchase price. I had looked at a couple of older 'stick built/alum. skin RVs, but, by the time I got to my price level, the best part about them was the frame!

I should have been more clear. Yes it is the front window. I should have said Lexan, I have used it before and have been satisfied with it. Definitely need to build a "shield" for use during travel. Especially since I intend to use this trailer in somewhat rougher areas. Plus, I like the idea of there being an awning in place for use during camping.

The roof has no wood core. It is just FGlass. I am planning to "lay up" a piece that I can 'glass on. After I get the roof cleaned up and inspected properly. I want to be fairly sure that I don't have other issues buried under the existing bed liner.
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